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Competition Policy

Antitrust and Cartels Legislation

Antitrust rules are contained in various legal instruments. The basic provisions are contained in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) 

A number of regulations implementing the Treaty articles relevant to EU competition law have been adopted, either by the Council or the Commission. Some of these regulations contain the general rules for the implementation of the Treaty provisions laying down, among others, the investigative powers of the Commission. Other regulations deal either with particular types of conduct or with specific sectors.

The Commission has adopted various non-regulatory documents, which may take various forms (notices, guidelines, etc). Such documents are intended to explain in more detail the policy of the Commission on a number of issues, either relating to the interpretation of substantive antitrust rules or to procedural issues, such as access to file.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 101 and 102 TFEU.

The block exemption regulations specify the conditions under which certain types of agreements are exempt from the prohibition of restrictive agreements laid down in Article 101(1) TFEU.

Commission Notices, Communications and Guidelines are capable of producing legal effects. Notices are not binding on EU courts. Guidelines are rules of practice, not rules of law.

Practical guidance on the conduct of proceedings concerning Articles 101 and 102 TFEU

The Directive removes practical obstacles to compensation for all victims of infringements of EU antitrust law and fine-tunes the interplay between private damages actions and public enforcement of the EU antitrust rules.